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Feb 24, 2015

Still No Money for Hunter Family

Elisa Hunter

In November 2014, Elisa Hunter was knocked down and killed on the George Price Highway. The vehicle which hit her was government issued, and was taking Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington to Belmopan. Last week the family of Hunter visited our studios to say that they have received no assistance from Elrington, despite his having committed to do so. We also asked Elrington, who told us that both the insurance company and government had stepped in to help the Hunter family. But while that might have been the intention, we found out today that it actually didn’t happen that way.

 

Joseph Waight

Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary

“We want to extend on behalf of the Ministry our sympathies to the family of Ms. Hunter. It’s a tragic accident that nobody should have to go through and again we are sympathetic and we’d like to assist as much as possible. With regard to the Minister’s statement, the Minister wasn’t quite correct. There was a request from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for an ex-gratia payment which my instructions were to hold on the payment pending clarification of what the insurance company would actually pay. Having said that we had already paid about five thousand seven hundred dollars for funeral expenses the government gave as an ex-gratia payment. But since yesterday I spoke with my minister, the Prime Minister who said that the insurance company is taking too long, so let us go ahead and make the payment. So the payment is in train, the ten thousand dollars ex-gratia, so in a few days it should be paid.”

 

Reporter

“Is that ex-gratia payment in addition to other expenses, or is that the sum total of it?”

 

Joseph Waight

“With the ex-gratia payment the government’s payment would be another ten, plus five, about fifteen thousand dollars. Together it’s about fifteen thousand dollars…ex-gratia payment…a goodwill gesture and not admitting any liability because you know that has to find its way through the courts, so it’s a goodwill gesture and sympathy to the family of the deceased.”

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